Here is a list of some of our favorite spots to eat, have a café or a glass of wine (or pastiche), or just watch people.
1. Rue des Abbesses
a. Au Relais Gascon, just up the street from the apartment is a very popular place. They specialize in
Gascon cuisine. It is a bit too heavy on chips for our taste, but is a real experience if you can get in. If you go,
give our regards to Mumu, the owner and you will probably receive a complimentary kir aperitif.
b. Café Houdon on the corner of rue Houdon is one of our favorites, not just because it is very convenient.
Franck, the owner is usually on had to greet us and Jimmy provides great service as does Inga behind the bar.
There often is live jazz. The confit de canard and the veal dishes are especially good. If feeling adventurous try
the beef tarter.
c. Le St. Jean. If there is room, find a table on the sidewalk, order a drink and watch the Montmartoise go by.
This is a brasserie. The food is good, but not fancy. If you haven’t tried a Croque Monsieur (A hot open face ham
and cheese sandwich), this is the place to try one. If you ask for a “Croque Madame” they put a fried egg on top.
d. Le Vrais De Paris and Le Sancerre are two more cafés just down the rue. They are similar to Le St Jean.
The atmosphere can be loud and smoky, but their food is surprisingly good.
e. Le Village is a smaller, more intimate and local place just across the rue.18 rue des Abbesses. It is an
increasingly popular bar in the heart of Abbesses. Be prepared to dance and sing with some of the more colorful
locals; or just sit at a sidewalk table and watch the passing parade. They serve a great Bordeaux and an equally
f. La Mascotte. A classic seafood restaurant. Oysters are shucked in front where the selection of sometimes
exotic fruits de mer is displayed. The copper bar in front is a popular meeting place for neighborhood locals – the
local expiates who drop in on Sundays call it “The Chapel”. The large restaurant behind offers some of the best
seafood in Paris. http://www.la-mascotte-montmartre.com/
g. Al Caratello. On little rue Adran, connecting rue Abbesses with rue Véron is one of my favorite Italian
restaurants. It is usually crowded, so call ahead if you want to be sure of a table. The pasta is wonderful, but I
have a difficult time passing up the veal dishes. 01.42.62.24.23
2. Rue Lepic (This is a bit confusing: rue des Abbesses becomes rue Lepic where the two meet, even though
it is rue Lepic that makes the turn.)
a. Le Zebre further down the street is where the young and oftentimes beautiful meet. Jean Yves the chef
offers a delicious menu of French classics including moeulleux, a soft beef dish, great spareribs and wonderful
salads. His chocolate mouse is almost as good as Trish’s. Warning: until the new law restricting smoking is in
effect next year, Le Zebre can be especially smoky.
b. La Rughetta, #41 just around the turn, is an excellent Italian restaurant. Our favorite is the veal citron. To
guarantee a place we recommend calling ahead, 01.42.23.41.70.
c. Bar Lux. Down the hill towards the bottom of rue Lepic is a great place to just sit and watch people,
especially on a busy shopping day. Across the rue is the Café Deux Moulins of Amilie fame. It’s quite a bit more
expensive, and at times is filled with Japanese tourists. Stick with the Bar Lux.
3. Rue Véron
a. Chez Ammad. Just down the small lane across from our apartment (the name changes at every twist and
turn) is Chez Ammad, underneath the “Grand Hotel de Clermont”, 18m rue Veron. This is a small, very local
place, perhaps not for the timid. It is a place where you can play chess, chat with the locals and enjoy the always
hospitable Ammad and his two sons. It’s an especially great place on New Years Eve. On any night the real
crowds arrive after midnight.
b. La Colibri. (the hummingbird) 35, Rue Véron. This is our favorite small restaurant in the neighborhood.
The lunches are exquisite and reasonably priced. It definitely has local character and is not fancy, but if you are
flexible it can be a wonderful experience. On the weekends they have live music, varying from French chanteurs
and chanteuses to rock. We strongly recommend that you give it a try.
a. Le Potager. If you are looking for the perfect “French” meal at a reasonable price, this is the place for you.
It’s small and unfortunately a bit smoky – at least for this year – but the food and the atmosphere are superb. The
specialize in such French classics as Confit de Canard, tartines, and coquilles St. Jacques, Go up to the corner,
turn right at Café Houdon, walk straight for two blocks, turn left and go up the hill past the square. It’s on the next
block on the right, 16, rue de Trois Freres. Telephone reservations can be made early in the evening and are a
b. Le Progress. After dinner, walk back down rue de Trois Freres a half block to the square. Le Progress is
a perfect place for an after dinner drink. Crowded, noisy (and yes, smoky) with perhaps the largest windows in
Paris. Loud live music sets the scene.
5. Over the Hill. If you walk up the butte to see the sights, you may want to wander down the other side
where the “Marie” of the 18eme is located. It is a delightful area, and away from tourists
a. Le Nord Sud. A classic brasserie, but with food equal in quality to a very good restaurant. There is usually
a lot of hustle and bustle. Lunch is served all afternoon, so if you find yourself hungry after the usual Parisian
lunch hour – when most places are closed – head this way. If you are not hungry, it is still a wonderful place to
people watch – one of the favorite Parisian pastimes. It is located on a very busy square with a church, merry-go-
round and busy metro station.
b. Le Refuge is just across from the Lamarck-Calaincourt metro station. The last time we were there a film
company was using it for a set. The food is good, and the atmosphere is warm and friendly.
6. The 9eme. Down the hill is the 9arrondissement. It has a totally different character and is much busier
than our own village like 18th.
a. La Petit Trudaine on the Avenue of the same name is one of our favorites. Its only a few blocks away
down rue des Martyrs. A wonderful place with superb food and service. It is in a quieter area, away from the
bustle of Abbesses.
b. Chartier. Don’t miss having lunch in this classic restaurant frequented by Parisians taking their break from
work. This busy place is Paris. It is located on rue du faubourg Montmartre, about a twenty minute walk down the
hill from our apartment. It is down a little lane of its own, just before the Blvd. Montmartre, and is easy to miss.
After you pass through the revolving doors, you will be asked, perhaps a bit briskly “Combien de personnes?”
Then you will be seated at a table probably shared by busy Parisians. It is all very friendly and conversation flows
freely. The waiter will scribble your order on the paper table cloth. The seafood is especially good; the escargot
in my humble opinion is the best in Paris, served with toothpicks! Trish and I seldom let a month go by without
finding an excuse to walk down to Chartier.
|Favorite Restaurants & Cafés